Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald raises welfare concerns over semi-final move

Clash with Galway has been moved from LIT to Parnell Park due to Limerick training session

Parnell Park will host Sunday’s match. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Parnell Park will host Sunday’s match. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Cork women’s football manager Ephie Fitzgerald has reiterated his discontent at the decision to move Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final against Galway to Parnell Park in Dublin, given the game was originally fixed much closer to home at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

The staging of the game in Dublin, Fitzgerald claimed, would likely require an overnight stay for many of the players, which created a health threat given the ongoing restrictions around Covid-19.

“Dublin have had the highest 14-day incidence rate for the last couple of months, so why it’s going there, I just don’t know,” Fitzgerald told RTÉ Six One News “For me it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s nothing to do with the game, it’s the welfare of the players, and particularly in the women’s year of sport.

“Would this happen in the men’s game? I don’t think it would.”

In a statement issued earlier on Thursday, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) clarified what they saw as some matters relating to the semi-final meeting between Cork and Galway, which will be played at Parnell Park, Dublin, next Sunday, December 6th (1.30pm).

“The LGFA has noted media comment around this fixture, specifically in relation to the aforementioned game being moved from the LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick to Parnell Park.

“The semi-final was originally fixed for Semple Stadium, Thurles, on Saturday November 28th, but moved to Sunday, December 6th, to accommodate a few Cork dual players.

“The significant knock-on effect in accommodating Cork was the sourcing of a new venue for the game, and numerous other logistical implications, and the LIT Gaelic Grounds was identified as an alternative host venue.

“The Limerick senior men’s hurling team qualified for the All-Ireland Final last weekend, and Limerick GAA had informed the LGFA on Thursday last that it would no longer be in a position to facilitate our All-Ireland semi-final between Cork and Galway should they qualify for the final.

“The LGFA wishes to categorically state that we fully understand Limerick’s wish to use their own venue for training purposes next Sunday. Furthermore, we have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Limerick GAA in the past, and our 2019 All-Ireland Senior Club Final was played at the LIT Gaelic Grounds, and we were afforded a warm welcome there, and treated very well.

“In addition, we very much look forward to travelling to the LIT Gaelic Grounds for future games. We are grateful to the Dublin County Board for making Parnell Park available for next Sunday’s semi-final at short notice, and this is not the first time that a All-Ireland senior Championship semi-final has been played in Dublin.”

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